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THE SPECIALISTS
FINDING MY PLACE IN THE WWE UNIVERSE 1/31: PWTorch Specialist and his 12-year-old self review Monday's Raw

Feb 2, 2011 - 1:24:39 PM
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By Joshua Hansen, PWTorch specialist

New PWTorch specialist Joshua Hansen will be reviewing each week's WWE Raw and Smackdown from the perspective of his 24-year-old self vs. his 12-year-old self looking at how WWE's target audience in the PG demo would respond to feuds, matches, and storylines. Joshua will assign a score to each segment and compare which "Joshua" rated each week's show the best.

Okay, okay. Both current and younger me were way off on the Royal Rumble. For weeks, I was saying Alberto Del Rio was being set up as the winner on TV only to lose at the Rumble. Lo and behold, I was wrong. How silly of me to expect WWE to not do exactly what it was telling me it would. Here’s hoping the follow-up gets me (any me) on board for WrestleMania.
alberto_150_38.jpg

Del Rio/Miz/Edge Segment

24-Year-Old Josh: Del Rio looks like a champion. I think that’s a given. The reason I was so convinced that he wouldn’t win the Rumble is that neither match-up - vs. Edge or Miz - strikes me as a WrestleMania worthy main event. That and I don’t feel that he has enough depth behind his character at this point. I was hoping for a winner that I’ve had more of a chance to put an emotional investment in. His debut and short feud with Rey was a great start, but I’m not sure if his feuds have meant much of anything since then. But, I’m open-minded and this segment was a very good way to start. Seeing Del Rio take a serious turn is exactly what I want from him and the potential of Del Rio vs. Edge is probably higher than I’ve given it credit for. Can we have an embargo on Mariachi Bands from here on out, though? Please? SCORE: 7 (out of 10)

12-Year-Old Josh: I’m so glad Alberto chose to fight Edge and not Miz. Now, when Christian comes back, he can help Edge take Del Rio out. Maybe a tag match with Edge and Christian vs. Del Rio and Ricardo? I like that Alberto is smarter than Miz. I almost found myself cheering for Alberto when he outsmarted Miz, but maybe that’s just because Miz is so annoying. SCORE: 9

Kozlov & Santino vs. New Nexus (post-match)

24-Year-Old Josh: The Tag Title match was nothing to write home about, but the aftermath with Orton was fantastic. Orton’s persona is evolving, his movements are very smooth, and his facial expressions are top notch. Punk-Orton is probably a better idea than Punk-Cena, as it gives Orton a way to embrace his vicious, heel-ish side in a way that’s guaranteed to get him cheers. How do you make a strong anti-hero? Make sure the villain is even worse. This feud has potential written all over it and could be a real benefit to everyone involved. SCORE: 8

12-Year-Old Josh: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is in great shape! Oh, it’s Randy Orton. Awesome! I’m excited to hear more from him on the mic and see how big the reactions for The Punt get as the weeks go on. It looks like Husky is going away for a little while, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Orton gradually takes out the rest of Nexus until getting his hands on Punk at WrestleMania. SCORE: 9

DiBiase/Lawler

24-Year-Old Josh: I’m happy that Jerry is getting all of this attention on the Road to WrestleMania. If anyone deserves a WrestleMania moment on their resume, it’s The King. The build seems to be heading for Lawler vs. Cole, but a DiBiase vs. Lawler match wouldn’t be awful. It would get DiBiase in a meaningful feud and would give Lawler his WrestleMania match. Then again, there’s a part of me that knows that this was just a reason to have Maryse leave him. Later, Maryse and Gail Kim can team up to have a long feud with The Bellas while Daniel Bryan tries to teach Ted Jr. some vegan recipes. SCORE: 6

12-Year-Old Josh: I like Jerry, but this segment didn’t do much for me. Ted and Maryse don’t make me happy or angry so the only emotion left is boredom. When Jerry and Cole finally end up in a real fight, though, that’s something I’ll happily watch. SCORE: 4

Daniel Bryan vs. Tyson Kidd

24-Year-Old Josh: This is such a waste of Daniel Bryan. Does anyone, and I mean that in the literal sense, care about a Bellas and Gail Kim feud? The Bellas need a new guy to feud with Bryan and that needs to happen soon. SCORE: 2

12-Year-Old Josh: I wish I had girls fighting over me like Daniel Bryan does. I bet it’s a lot more interesting when you’re the one they’re fighting over. SCORE: 4

Edge vs. The Miz

24-Year-Old Josh: It was a good, but short match ruined by the ending. This is one of my absolute most hated ways to end a match. “Hey, hey! Look at me! Up here! See me? Oh, you just got beat? Sorry.” Are Miz and Edge going to fight again next week because there wasn’t much of a “winner” here either? Anyways, I am looking forward to a likely Cena-Miz feud going to WrestleMania, but this set up was kind of weak. SCORE: 7

12-Year-Old Josh: Good match, and Miz lost! Sure, John Cena helped, but Miz deserves to lose every time he wrestlers, so seeing him lose when it looked like he was in control was just fine for me. Cena has to win the Elimination Chamber, and I think he can do it. He can definitely beat Miz at WrestleMania. SCORE: 8

Eve & Natalya vs. Lay-Cool

24-Year-Old Josh: I enjoyed the opening segment with Lay-Cool bickering and coming back together. It’s that kind of cute, short backstage scene that adds characterization you don’t always get from facing-the-camera promos. The match itself wasn’t horrible, but that shouldn’t be as much of an endorsement as it may sound. It’s odd to have Eve win the title and then get convincingly pinned the next night, but at this point I’m just waiting for Awesome Kong to finally show up. SCORE: 4

12-Year-Old Josh: An okay match. I liked Layla’s finisher. What’s next? SCORE: 4

Dance Off

24-Year-Old Josh: I really hope someone fed Josh Mathew’s that line about Precious. Actually, wait, that’s still wrong. I hope Josh Mathews came up with that Precious joke all on his own, because if someone did tell him to say that, it means there are people with much more authority than Josh Mathews forcing incredibly dated, incredibly tasteless jokes on to the show. I’m not offended at the content, I’m offended by terrible comedy, and this whole segment, joke and dance included, was terrible “comedy.” SCORE: 0

12-Year-Old Josh: I wasn’t cheering back when Too Cool held the crowd hostage with their dancing and I sure as heck won’t be cheering for this either. SCORE: 0

2-21-11

24-Year-Old Josh: Spooky camera shots? Check. Eerie music? Check. Ominous numbers that clearly signify when this dude debuts? Check and mate. Let the speculation begin! Undertaker? Too obvious, and why mysteriously hype an expected return? Jericho? It’d be a huge gimmick change, so I doubt it. Someone I’ve never heard of? Likely, but since I’ve been so lucky with crazy predictions (thank you very much, JoMo) I’m going with Sting. SCORE: 6

12-Year-Old Josh: Oooh!! Now this is what I like, something to talk about at the water fountain during recess. It’s Undertaker, right? Totally has to be Undertaker. Yup, definitely Undertaker. I bet you my oatmeal cookie sandwich every day for a week that it’s Undertaker. SCORE: 9

The Chaperone Trailer

24-Year-Old Josh: I already knew the plot of the movie when this trailer came on, so I mostly read my girlfriend for reactions. We both cracked up in a big way when the bad guys showed up at the museum. But, it’s not for me and I know it. In all fairness, Triple H probably did an okay job and he has a good screen presence. SCORE: 4

12-Year-Old Josh: I totally want to see it! Triple H is one of my favorites and I’m absolutely dragging my parents to this whether they like it or not. There’s no way it’ll be as lame as Legendary. It just can’t be. Can it? SCORE: 8

Raw Rumble

24-Year-Old Josh: Minute for minute, I thought this was better than the Royal Rumble. It had the suspenseful near-eliminations that make over-the-top-rope matches compelling, and in 18 minutes told a more thrilling and ultimately satisfying story than the Rumble did in over an hour. Lawler getting the win sets up a fun storyline of Lawler trying to finally get his shot at WrestleMania. I doubt anyone really thinks he’ll win (maybe a "one night and switch back" deal, but not likely), but it will make for good TV and if Miz does go over at the Chamber then he’ll have a solid, clean (hopefully) title defense going into WrestleMania. SCORE: 9

12-Year-Old Josh: Wow, what a match. I’m happy Jerry won because I think he can beat Miz and, truthfully, I didn’t want to see him get hurt in the Elimination Chamber. I think Cena will win the Chamber and go on to fight Miz at WrestleMania, but what if Jerry wins? Cena vs. Jerry wouldn’t be all that fun to watch, but what if Sheamus won the Elimination Chamber? King vs. King and The King of Kings can be the referee. SCORE: 10

Totals:

24-Year-Old Josh: 53

12-Year-Old Josh: 65

This time 12-Year-Old Josh certainly enjoyed the show more, but the score doesn’t tell the whole story. I thought the show on a whole was better than average and if I was only judging the show as a whole, I may have rated it higher, but I’m treating the show as the sum of its parts and this week had some real duds. The Daniel Bryan story with the Bellas and Gail Kim could lead somewhere good, but this week it was a drag. Combine that with the Dance-Off and there were plenty of lost points.

Thankfully, there was some very good action sprinkled in to make the show much better than my self-imposed scoring system indicates. Here's hoping Raw stays solid on the Road to Wrestlemania.

[Torch art credit Grant Gould (c) PWTorch.com]


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